Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Balancing Self-Promotion with Writing and Reading

The Romantic Novelists are still talking about self-promotion. They had report of a teenage reader who said that she found most of the many books she read online in recommendations from other readers and writers, but did not like books being pushed at her all the time. Other members said that they didn't have time to keep up a blog, Facebook and Twitter, and really needed more time to spend on their writing. I think that I agree!
I started this blog in January, and I've spent the past few days adding some pages, as you can see above, about me and my novel. I've also uploaded a summery short story which I hope you'll like.
This blog is very much a work in progress, as I'm learning how to do it as I go along. However, Catherine Ryan Howard (Self-Printed) is passionate about blogging (five days a week), Tweeting and keeping up her Facebook pages, as well as preparing her second travel memoir for publication. I don't know how she does it. My blog is taking up all my time, and I really need to get my book ready. . .
The other thing I have less time for is reading. I started Harriet Evans' Love Always a few weeks ago, but got side tracked on Mousestrapped and you've guessed it, Self-Printed, plusWoman's Weekly which I try to keep up with to help me write a suitable story to get published in their magazine!
This week, I think, was indicative of the new sort of stories that they want. One, by Rachel Lovell, was about a couple that had moved to France because their foster child had told a 'squalid tale' about the husband which had ruined their lives, but they found a new meaning in life by helping a French family. The other story from Bernadette James was about a woman waiting for a reunion with her sister years after they had both loved the same man. I found these stories both quiet and thoughtful.
Anyway, I'm back with Harriet Evans now, and loving her new book.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Self-Printed, Self-Publishing, Self-Promotion and The Time Sculptor's Secret

I've finished reading Self-Printed by Catherine Ryan Howard. It's a thorough account of how to self-publish using Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Createspace and Smashwords and how to promote yourself using blogs, Facebook and Twitter. She has been successful with these methods in publishing Mousetrapped and, of course, Self-Printed, itself, and she has given me lots of food for thought.
Interestingly in September's Writers' Forum, Helen Hollick tells how she self-published some of her out of print novels using SilverWood Books. Whereas Catherine published hers for next to nothing, Helen went for a complete publishing service, and felt happier with it even though it cost £1400 on average per book, although they are helping her with her promotion.
The Romantic Novelists have been talking about self-promotion being annoying when authors are always trying to push their books on others, and today there was a link to Allison Brennan in America, Money Can't Buy Love. She'd been to two conferences, and self-promotion was discussed at length at both of them. She said that ultimately, it is the quality of the book that promotes it through Word of Mouth: the most unpredictable method of promotion, but the one which can bring in the best results.
So more food for thought there!
Lastly this week, I've got a new follower, Jane Gray. I've visited her blog and it is fantastic! She's writing a novel set in Tuscany called The Time Sculptor's Secret, and her current blog describes this area which I love so well, that I can't wait to read her book. She also gives a short quote from the text to showcase her writing and a lengthy one from Charles Dickens who visited the area in 1844. Together with some excellent pictures, it looks like the perfect blog for self-promotion!!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Self-Publishing- I've been reading Self-Printed by Catherine Ryan Howard.

This week I've been reading Self-Printed by Catherine Ryan Howard. She's given me a lot of food for thought, and I feel I must get on with building an 'online presence' and coming to grips with Facebook and Twitter, when I've hardly got time to write my blog!
Catherine says that an individual cover is essential to make your book look its best, so I've also got to look into getting mine designed. One quote was $1000! Just a little out of my league.
Other printers and publishers have also been recommended, including one in Hunstanton, Norfolk, where my parents met and we had many happy holidays.
Phew! At the moment, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

I'm getting Started with Self-Publishing

These nameless volumes represent how much I know about self-publishing, so I've been to work on the internet, helped by the adverts in my pile of writing magazines.
The companies vary and I think I will have to make a very careful decision as to which I choose.
Briefly, my first impressions are that Matador assess your book's possible success first: 25% don't get accepted. They seem to be quite pricey, but I've yet to draw up a spread sheet to compare the others.
I would like to have an individual cover, so I don't like the limited range of covers from GHP and Indepenpress.
Antony Rowe's site looks a bit like Matador, but doesn't seem to be linked to Amazon, you can have an individual cover though, and they do self-publishing workshops in Chippenham.
Spiderwize is a cheaper package, but you can provide your own picture for a glossy cover.
And Direct POD looks like a good printer to work with giving lots of information on their website, but I'm not sure whether they can help you with ebooks.
All a bit confusing, isn't it? None of the companies provide exactly what I'm looking for, so perhaps I'll have to make it on my own . . .